1/11/2011

Recent decisions: movie plagiarism cases involving "Stomp the Yard" and "Flushed Away"; Mattel vs Bratz dolls

The current issue (1/5/11) of Loeb & Loeb's IP/Entertainment Law Weekly Case Update reports on (and links to) three recent decisions by federal District Courts in California:
  • Clements v. Screen Gems, in which the court dismissed a copyright infringement lawsuit, without trial, because the court found that Screen Gems' movie "Stomp the Yard" did not infringe the copyright to the plaintiff’s movie “Steppin.”
  • Buggs v. Dreamwords, in which the court dismissed a copyright infringement lawsuit, without trial, because the court found that Dreamworks' movie "Flushed Away" was not substantially similar to the protectible elements in the plaintiff's screenplay for "Critter Island."
  • Mattel v. MGA Entertainment, in which the court dismissed Mattel's copyright infringement claims based on "second generation" Bratz dolls, but denied both companies' summary judgment motions on two other issues: whether "first generation" Bratz dolls infringe Mattel copyrights; and whether Mattel's confidentiality agreement applies to ideas.